How to Grow Your Own Pumpkin

smallpumpkinPumpkins take all summer to grow and are ready for harvest at the beginning of winter.  Just in time for carving for Halloween!

If you have plenty of space in your garden but not a lot of time, growing pumpkins is a low-maintenance chore.

Where to Grow

Many people plant pumpkins directly into an old compost heap because pumpkins like plenty of nutrients and moisture.  Otherwise, you will need to enrich the soil with organic matter and select a sunny spot.

Types and Varieties

The large, orange winter pumpkins are an obvious choice to grow, but they don’t taste that great.  It is worth growing one or two for carving.  However, for eating, it is best to stick to winter squashes.

Winter Squashes

Winter squashes come in all shapes and sizes.  Many are incredibly beautiful with their bumps and nobbles.  There is also a wonderful diversity of colors, ranging from orange and yellow, to green, multicolored and even blue!

Pests and Diseases

Squashes and pumpkins are generally trouble-free.

Harvesting and Storage

Pumpkin and squash fruits should be left outside until they take on their full color.  If the weather is fine, leave them outside.  But as soon as frost is forecast, bring them inside.

Leave the skins to harden and the stalks to dry to prolong the storage period (this is known as “curing”).

Pumpkins do not store well.  Therefore, it is best to carve them by Halloween or eat by Christmas.

Squashes can last much longer and are generally tastier.  They can last right into the new year.  Store them in a cold, dry and light place such as a garden shed or greenhouse.

In the Kitchen

Most pumpkins typically have orange or yellow flesh.  Once peeled and the seeds removed, the flesh can be roasted with other winter veggies.  The sweet and smooth flesh is also fantastic pureed and made into hearty winter soups.

The seeds are edible and can be roasted.

Calendar

Mid-Spring

Sow seeds individually in small pots.  Place the flat seed on its side and cover with 1/2 inch (1 cm) of potting mix.  Keep in a well-lit and warm place (above 18 C).

Late Spring

Pot into larger pots if frosts are still likely.  When all chance of frost has passed, plant outside with at least 3 ft. 2 in. (1 m) between plants, or sow seeds directly into the ground.

Early Summer

Keep unruly plants under control by moving their long, winding stems back into their allotted space.

Mid-Summer

Water if very dry.  A couple of really good soaks should do.

Late Summer

Fruit should be set and starting to ripen.

Early Fall

Once fruits start to ripen and reach their full size, start to harvest from now on.

 

 

Advertisements
Published in: on December 6, 2016 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

11 Mosquito-Repellent Plants

Basil

BasilCalling all cooks! Want a double whammy when it comes to mosquito protection? Plant some basil! Not only will you have a quick and easy mosquito repellent, you will also have a delicious fresh herb on hand to add to all of your favorite recipes! There are many different varieties of basil around, so feel free to experiment and find the ones that you like best. Many expert gardeners recommend trying lemon basil or cinnamon basil to deter insects.

Catnip

CatnipYour feline friends will be happy to know that catnip is a great mosquito deterrent! In fact, in a 2010 study, researchers found that catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET, the ingredient commonly found in bug repellents. It is a very easy plant to grow, and if you have cats in the house, they will surely be happy to have it around. However, be careful not to plant catnip in with other flowers, veggies, or herbs if you have cats around your garden. They will surely roll around in the catnip and smash everything nearby!

Citronella

CitronellaIt’s one of the most common ingredients in most mosquito repellents. Citronella is a beautiful perennial clumping grass that emits a strong aroma. That aroma masks other scents, and keeps mosquitoes from being attracted to things located around it. The citronella plant has a much stronger aroma than other mosquito repellents that contain citronella, so it is a great choice. Citronella is very easy to grow, and can get to be a very tall 5 or 6 feet high! You can grow citronella in pots and place it around a porch or patio, or you can plant it directly in a yard or garden bed. It’s a great choice for repelling mosquitoes naturally.

Garlic

GarlicUnfortunately for all of us who love Italian food, studies have shown that EATING garlic does not repel mosquitoes. (Unless, however, you were to eat a HUGE amount!) However, having garlic around DOES! Make sure to add some garlic to your flower bed or vegetable garden for added protection!

Geranium

GeraniumThis beautiful flowering plant is a great choice for mosquito repellent. When planted in a hanging container, the colorful blooms will cascade over the side of the pot, providing a beautiful visual piece as well as a very useful bug repellent!

Lavender

LavenderYou probably know that lavender is a gorgeous purple flowering plant with a soothing, calming scent. But, did you know that it is also a natural mosquito repellent? Grow lavender indoors near a sunny window, or outside in your garden or flower bed to keep the bugs away. While you’re at it, make a delicious herbal tea, or use lavender to fill your home with a wonderful calming aroma.

Lemon Balm

Lemon BalmAnother great choice for a mosquito repelling plant is lemon balm. A member of the mint family, the plant also known as horsemint and beebalm is a very easy plant for beginning gardeners to grow- even if you don’t have a green thumb! Lemon Balm is a very hardy plant, it resists drought, and it grows well even in shade. It is a very fast growing and sometimes aggressive plant, so you might want to contain it to a pot, where you can move it to wherever you like to ensure that it doesn’t take over your garden! An added bonus? You can dry the leaves and use them to make a delicious herbal tea!

Marigolds

MarigoldsA bright, hardy annual plant, marigolds are a great choice for repelling mosquitoes. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many insect repellents, and they have a unique aroma which bugs find repulsive. The flowers themselves are beautiful and can make a great border or addition to any flower bed! Try placing them around borders of your home, and mosquitoes might not want to cross over!

Peppermint

PeppermintMost bugs despise the smell and taste of peppermint, so planting it around your home is a great way to keep them from dropping by uninvited! Plus, if you do happen to get bitten, peppermint leaves rubbed directly onto the skin make a great itch relief treatment! Added bonus for the wonderful minty smell that makes a delicious addition to food and beverages!

Pennyroyal

PennyroyalThe adorable pennyroyal flower is a natural deterrent for mosquitoes! Make sure to plant some around your flowerbeds! Pennyroyal plants also make great groundcovers, and they attract a plethora of beautiful butterflies. Some people even use pennyroyal to flavor certain fish dishes. As you can see, this plant has plenty of benefits!

Rosemary

RosemaryRosemary is a beautiful flowering plant that is often used to flavor lamb or fish dishes, but did you know that it is also a natural mosquito repellent? It’s perfect to add to your herb garden or flowerbed to keep bugs away, and it even attracts butterflies!

Plus you can simply snip a few springs off every time you need to add extra flavor to your lamb or steak!

As you can see, there are many different plants out there that can help to keep bugs away! Next time you reach for the chemical bug spray, take a minute and think again, and choose something more natural!

Published in: on July 26, 2015 at 7:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to Deal with Insect Bites

bugsWhether you are camping, gardening, or playing outdoor sports, it is difficult to avoid getting bites from pesky insects.  This article shows you the options available for taking the itch out of insect bites.

(Disclaimer:  This article is purely informational and does not endorse any of the products mentioned.)

Natural Remedies

Taking an oatmeal bath helps soothe pain and itching.  Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Bath is anti-inflammatory and helps retain skin moisture.  Alternatively, you could try applying a paste of baking soda and water to bites or stings; the Sodium Bicarbonate can reduce itch.

Oral Remedies

Benadryl Allergy Caplets are an oral antihistamine (containing Diphenhydramine) which helps reduce the swelling of skin from any insect bite or sting.  It also reduces the itching from mosquito bites and ant stings.  However, it can be sedating.  Other alternatives are:

Topical Antihistamines

These are less potent than Oral Remedies but can still soothe itchiness.  Here are few topical options:

  • After-Bite Gel
  • Benedryl Itch Cream
  • Claritin Skin
  • Polysporin Itch Relief
  • Lanacane

Other Options

Health Canada has approved an all-natural oral mosquito repellant that also claims to repel black flies and other bugs.  It is called Mozi-Q.  Tablets contain Staphysagria, a substance derived from Delphinium plants.

Published in: on August 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

If you’ve ever battled a fruit fly infestation in your home, you know just how hard it is to get rid of fruit flies. These tiny pests breed quickly, and can survive long after you’ve disposed of all your suspect fruits and vegetables. Winning the battle against fruit flies requires patience and persistence.

If you’re at your wits end with this nuisance pests, take a few minutes to read these tips for getting rid of fruit flies. You need to be thorough in eliminating all the potential breeding sites in your home.

1. Dispose of any rotting fruits and vegetables.

First things first. As soon as you see a few fruit flies, you need to purge your produce. Anything that is beyond ripe, oozing liquid, or has been cut or broken open must go. Don’t just throw it in the garbage or compost bin, either (unless your compost bin is outdoors and located a distance from your house). Bag it up and take it outside to the trash. Then clean up any residual mess left behind.

2. Empty and clean recycling cans.

Fruit fly habitat is any place they can find something sweet or fermented, with a little moisture. Empty soda cans, wine bottles, and beer cans fit that bill perfectly. Once you’ve dumped the produce, turn your attention to the recycling bin. Take all your bottles and cans out for pickup. Then give the bin itself a thorough scrubbing to remove any residue of beer, wine, or juice.

3. Take any compost scraps outside.

If you compost your kitchen scraps, I applaud you. Everyone should compost. But if you compost your kitchen scraps and you have fruit flies buzzing about, it’s time to clean out the compost bin. Until you get your infestation under control, you’ll need to take produce scraps straight out to your outdoor compost pile. Empty any compost containers that you keep indoors, and give them a good scrubbing, too.

4. Replace old sponges, mops, or dishrags.

Fruit flies can breed on sour sponges or mops, too. If you haven’t changed your kitchen sponge or your mop refill recently, replace them. Throw any reusable dishrags in the wash.

5. Clean your dishes immediately, especially wine or juice glasses.

Don’t wait until the end of the day to wash your dishes, especially if they have residues of things like jelly or wine. At the very least, give the dishes a good rinse to remove any food or beverage bits. When you scrape leftovers into the garbage, be sure to take the trash outside promptly. If you have a dishwasher, rinse the dishes and load it, and run the load as soon as possible.

6. Check potato and onion storage bins.

Most people store potatoes, onions, and other root vegetables in a cool, dark bin or cupboard. If fruit flies persist, be sure to check these storage areas for old, rotting produce. Just one old potato is all it takes to keep a fruit fly population going in your kitchen. Dispose of any soft or mushy potatoes or onions, and give the bin a cleaning before refilling it with fresh ones.

7. Set a few vinegar traps in problem areas.

Sometimes the quickest way to eliminate a population of insect pests is to wipe out the reproductive adults. Fortunately, fruit flies aren’t all that smart. If something smells remotely like fermenting fruit, they’ll dive right in. Place a few cider vinegar traps around problem areas in your home, and you can quickly get rid of large numbers of fruit flies. You can make a vinegar trap in just a few minutes with things you probably already have in your home.

8. Fix slow drains and keep plumbing and garbage disposals free of organic matter.

Fruit flies aren’t above living in the muck, and that includes the muck inside your plumbing. If you have any slow-moving drains in your house, there may be enough organic matter hanging out inside your pipes to support a breeding population of fruit flies. You can tape some plastic wrap over suspect drains for a few days to check for fruit flies. If you see adults on the underside of the plastic, you’ve got some breeding in your drain. Fix any drainage issues. Pour boiling hot water down problem drains to help loosen accumulated deposits. If accessible, you can also use a firm brush to scrub the inside of the pipe and free debris.

9. Give the kitchen a thorough cleaning.

You would be surprised where food bits can accumulate in a kitchen. If you have a particularly stubborn fruit fly infestation, it may take some elbow grease to eliminate all their food sources. How about the lip of your kitchen sink, could there be food bits underneath it? Clean the burner drip pans and lift the stove-top, if possible, to remove spilled food. Juice spills can leave sticky spots under the refrigerator.

10. If you do your own canning, make sure your jar lids are sealed completely.

This certainly doesn’t apply to everyone, but fruit fly problems can sometimes be traced to an improperly sealed jar of fruit preserves or other home canning product. If you keep a supply of homemade jellies or sauces on hand, take some time to check the seals. You don’t want to eat anything from an improperly sealed jar, anyway, do you?

Published in: on February 21, 2012 at 4:55 am  Leave a Comment  

How to get rid of Grass Mosquitoes

Getting rid of grass mosquitoes can be quite a task. Even with the best of solutions you will never eliminate them completely, but by using one or more of these techniques you can greatly reduce their population. The key is not just to eliminate the mosquitoes by their larvae also. Depending on the mosquito problem, try the less expensive remedies first and move on to the more expensive ones if you still have a problem.

Things You’ll Need

  • Mosquito spray, fogger or granulates
  • Mosquito repellent plants
  • Mosquito control rings
  • Mosquito trap
  • Mosquito misting system

Instructions

  1. Get rid of tall weeds, high grass and standing water.
    The mosquitoes like the grass and weeds so keeping it short will send them somewhere else. Standing water is where they breed and there are some watery places in your yard that are obvious and others you may not have thought about. Turn buckets upside down. Clean out water in your flower pot bowls and bird bath at least once a week. Drill holes in your recycle can and clean out the roof gutters. If you have a pond, put gold fish and other mosquito larvae eating fish in it. Last, check to make sure your air conditioner isn’t leaving a puddle as it drips. If it is, build a stone bed for it or some other way for the water to dissipate.
  2. Spray your lawn with a mosquito spray.
    Mosquito repellents using DEET are the most effective. You can buy this product at your local hardware store or home improvement store. Other product of this nature are foggers and granulates. The foggers are good for right before you are having guests, but they don’t last long. For the granulates, use a spreader throughout your yard. This is good for the adults, but don’t take care of the larvae. These product are best used along with mosquito control rings that you float in bird baths, ponds or other standing water. They release slowly and it doesn’t harm the other animals.
  3. Plant mosquito repellent plants around your yard.
    Plants such as citronella grass, catnip, rosemary and marigolds have an odor that mosquitoes don’t like. Citronella grass and rosemary are hot weather plants and citronella grass also grows very tall, so you can’t put it in a container well. Rosemary can be planted in a container and brought inside for the winter. Plant the catnip near your active area, such as your porch or patio.
  4. Buy a mosquito trap.
    These aren’t very expensive by you have to replace the attractants frequently. If you don’t, it will be like having nothing at all.
  5. Install a mosquito misting system.
    This is the most efficient product for eliminating the mosquitoes but also the most expensive. There are many companies that sell them and install them for you. They spray a mist of botanical insecticide throughout your yard when the mosquitoes are the most active. This is a set it and forget it system and needs very little maintenance. Give it a try and have a mosquito-free season.
Published in: on September 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm  Comments (1)  

How to build a Rain Barrel

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Homemade All-Natural Dog Repellents

Dogs are man’s best friends.  However, if you’re a home owner, you often receive unwelcome doggie surprises on your lawn.  Someones it’s due to the dog owners’ poor training or they failed to pick up the dogs’ poop after their dogs did their business.

Whatever the case, this article will show you some great all-natural remedies on how to keep dogs out of your lawn.

Ammonia

Dogs are not particularly fond of the smell of ammonia.  To our noses, ammonia is strong but to a dog’s sensitive nose, ammonia is like a punch in the face.  Place ammonia soaked cotton balls around the area you wish to keep the dog out of.  Do not pour the ammonia directly onto the ground as it may hurt your plants.

Chili Pepper

This is one of the most common and most effective dog repellents.  It is what you will commonly find in the commercial organic dog repellents.  The capsicum in the pepper will irritate the skin of the dog, particularly the sensitive area in and around the nose.  The irritation will deter the dog from returning to the area.  Common chili pepper powder sprinkled around the area will help repel all dogs.

Citrus Smells

Some dogs do not like the smell of citrus fruit, such as orange or lemon.  If the above strong smelling solutions are too strong smelling for your nose, try cutting up some citrus fruit and placing those around your garden.  If you can find it, citrus oil may also work.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is another strong smelling substance that will repel dogs.  Same advice applies here as well.  Soak cotton balls in the rubbing alcohol and place them in areas you wish to keep dogs out of.

Vinegar

Vinegar is another strong smelling scent that will act as a repellent to dogs.  Again, use cotton balls soaked in vinegar in the area you wish to keep dogs out of.  Do not pour vinegar straight onto the ground as this will kill plants.

Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm  Comments (2)  

10 Tips for Repelling Mosquitoes

One of the big (and only) drags of summer is dealing with mosquitoes. They’re everywhere this time of year, and most repellents out there leave skin coated with a film of icky chemicals that not only seem questionably safe for kids but smell awful too. Though most of us have heard of using citronella to ward off bugs, turns out that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of natural deterrents. Here, an array of pointers to keep mosquitoes away:

Get rid of standing water sources (which is where female critters like to lay their eggs)—birdbaths, wading pools, and pet bowls should be changed a couple times a week.

There are certain plants that mosquitoes can’t stand the scent of. The list includes catnip, rosemary, citronella grass, lavender, cinnamon, and peppermint—all good things to keep in mind as you’re landscaping your backyard.

Like vampires, mosquitoes are said to be garlic-phobes. Slice a clove in half and rub the cut side on your skin, or mix one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a spray bottle, shake, and spritz it on. If you can’t bear the smell on your body, saturate dish cloths in the solution to hang around your patio when you’re hanging out outdoors.

Placing rosemary and sage directly onto the coals while you’re grilling can also help keep critters away.

Certain essential oils, like lemon eucalyptus oil, cinnamon oil, and caster oil, are also said to be effective mosquito deterrents. Try mixing 10-25 drops of one of the aforementioned oils with 2 tablespoons of either olive oil or any other kind of cooking oil to spray on your skin.

Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise and sunset, so try to avoid being outside 30 minutes before and after dawn and dusk.

They’re attracted to dark clothing, so wear white/light when you’re getting dressed to spend time outdoors.

Flowery perfumes and soaps also have come-hither effect on mosquitoes, so avoid them outside. Beware of scented deodorants and hair products too.

To create a mosquito no-fly zone, you can also position yourself near a fan to make it much harder for them to land.

Crushed parsley mixed into a bottle of apple cider vinegar is also good for deterring mosquitoes. Curbly.com suggests rubbing the mixture on your skin, or soaking a handkerchief in it to tie around your neck.

Slightly creepy but true: bats are a natural predator to mosquitoes (some species are even known to eat a couple thousand in a night!). If you don’t mind the sight of them, you can even build your own backyard bat house.

Published in: on August 30, 2010 at 7:39 pm  Comments (4)  

How to Build a Wood Fence Gate

If you are planning to build a wooden fence for privacy reasons you can do so in one weekend. All you have to do is grab a friend, follow some instructions and you’ll be on your way to building a great gate for your wooden fence.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • 2 Posts
  • Wood for the gate
  • Post hole digger or shovel
  • Long string
  • 2 bags of mixed concrete
  • Water
  • Saw
  • Hammer and nails
  • Hinges
  • Latch
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Paint or wood stain and accessories, if needed

Step 1 – Choose Your Wood

You can buy either treated wood or raw wood. Treated wood will have a green tint to it. You can also use raw wood, but you will need to treat the ends of the posts yourself. They will come with directions on how you can properly treat the wood.

Step 2 – Remove Fence Section

If necessary, remove the section of fence where you would like to build your gate (see step 4 for considerations when measuring for your gate.) Next, stretch a long string from the bottom of one fence post to the bottom of the other. That way you’ll know the new gate is in line with the already standing fence.

Step 3 – Dig

Dig your first hole. Make sure it is deep enough to hold the post sturdy. You can get away with 12 inches for a small gate. For a heavier gate or one built in loose soil, 24 inches is more reasonable. Drop some stones in the hole for water drainage and then brace your post with small slat boards.

Step 4 – Put in your Second Post

Your second post is put in the same way as the first. However, it has to be situated for both the width of the gate and for the hardware that will be in place. Figure out how much room is needed for the latch and hinges to work properly. Factor in whether the gate will open inwards or outwards, and whether it will come up against the post or be separated by a hinge.

Step 5 – Put in Concrete

Mix your concrete with water and pour it into the holes around the posts. Make sure they are level and leave them to set for a day.

If needed, cut any excess off the posts after they are set. Then cut your horizontal rails. Your rails should be 1 by 4 for a smaller gate, and 2 by 4, or 2 by 6 for larger gates. Cut the boards for the gate and screw them to the rails and braces.

Step 6 – Hardware

Begin with your hinges. Attach them to the gate. Ask a friend for help. Set the gate up against the hinge post, marking where the screws will be placed. Pre-drill the holes so that you can get the gate up quickly, avoiding holding it up for a long time. After you’ve put it in place, make sure the gate opens and closes properly. Then mark off where the latch should go before pre-drilling for and installing the latch on the gate and the post. If desired, stain or paint your new gate.

Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 6:00 pm  Comments (5)  

How to Build a Wood Fence

SPACING THE FENCE POSTS

  • As a rule, you should set fence posts about 6’ to 8’ apart. The spacing of the posts depends on the type of fence you build, the terrain, the purpose of the fence and other such factors.
  • Set the corner or end post first. Then stretch a line from each corner or end post to align all the posts in between.
  • Drive a stake every 6’ to 8’ at the exact position where the post hole is to be dug.
  • Take time to measure and position the posts accurately. The appearance and the structural strength of your fence depends a great deal on the positioning of the fence posts.

SETTING THE FENCE POSTS

  • Set all wood fence posts with about 1/3 of their total length buried in the ground. This is especially important on corner posts and any posts that will carry heavy weight or withstand high wind pressure.
  • Use a regular post hole digger to dig the post holes. Dig the holes straight to the proper depth at each stake marker.
  • You can anchor the posts more firmly by making the holes slightly larger at the bottom than at the top. Place a large stone or two shovels full of gravel in the bottom of each hole. This provides drainage to avoid excessive moisture at the base of each post.
  • Use a wood preservative to treat the section of the post that will be underground. Allow the post to stand overnight in the preservative so it can become well-saturated.
  • You can pack the posts with either dirt or concrete. In either case, place two or three shovels full of gravel in the bottom of each hole before the post is placed into position.
  • Be sure the posts are in an exact, upright position. You can check the alignment of each post with a regular level. You can also check the alignment of the posts in one direction by sighting from one end of the row of posts to the other.
  • Brace each post with stakes after it is properly aligned. Keep the stakes in position until the concrete (if used) has thoroughly set. Remove the nails holding the braces and readjust the post until it is in accurate alignment.
  • When the post is properly aligned, tamp it thoroughly to pack the dirt (if used) around the base of the post. Be sure you do not alter the alignment of the post during the tamping process.
  • When the post is firmly in position, build a mound around it to help eliminate water standing at the post base. Slope the concrete slightly away from the post and round it off with a trowel. Tamp the concrete lightly to eliminate any air bubbles left in the mixture that can act as water pockets.
  • Provide extra bracing at all corners. A corner post must carry the weight of fence stretched in two directions, so it should be set in both directions.
  • Allow the posts to stand several days and settle firmly in position before adding the fence.
  • The heads of posts should be rounded, capped or slanted to help eliminate accumulating water, which can cause rotting. This is well-worth the effort since it allows the posts to last.

ADDING RAILS TO FENCE POSTS

  • Attach a top and bottom rail to the fence posts. There are three basic ways to do this.
  • The center illustration shows the top rail being nailed to the top of the post. This is an ideal installation for many types of fencing structures. The top rail can always be joined to another rail in the center of a post this way.
  • If the rail is added on the body of the post rather than at the top, attach it with a groove, a wood block or a metal bracket.
  • You can attach the bottom rail to the post by either of the two outside illustrations.
  • Fig. 8 illustrates several other ways to attach a rail to a fence post. Study these illustrations carefully. The type of joint you use to attach the fence supports to the post depends primarily on the type of fence you are building.
  • The lap joint is one of the easiest to use. The grooved joint does basically the same job, but the rail is grooved into the post rather than being nailed to the post surface.
  • The butt joint is a little more difficult to make but is often better. The mortised joint is even neater than the butt joint, but you must cut a mortise into the post for this joint.
  • The slotted joint is commonly used on decorative fences. Treat all slotted joints with preservative to prevent rotting in the grooved areas.
  • Take time to measure from the top rail to be sure the bottom rail on each is in perfect alignment. After you have measured one post, cut a measuring stick to prevent having to make an actual measurement on each post. The stick can be used to apply the same measurement to each post.

SELECTING THE FENCE STYLE

  • There are literally hundreds of variations in fence styles and construction materials. There is pre-assembled wood fencing sections as well as fencing materials made from recycled milk jugs. The type of fence you use depends primarily on the purpose.
  • Fences like the type shown in are used primarily for barriers. They are easy to build and provide an adequate barrier. However, they are usually not very decorative and they provide very little, if any, privacy.
  • Fences like those illustrated provide barriers and are more attractive than an ordinary fence. With a little shrubbery or plants, such fences can provide very attractive barriers along property lines.
  • Fences such as those illustrated are primarily privacy screens. They can be built as tall as needed out of many different materials. Their primary purpose is privacy.
  • Consider your needs when selecting the style of your fence. If you want a simple barrier, a wire fence or a simple style fence such as illustrated will work fine.
  • For a barrier that enhances the appearance, consider styles similar to those illustrated.
  • For added privacy, consider the styles illustrated.
  • Regardless of the type of fence you plan to build, be sure you know exactly where your property line is located. If you are uncertain about the location of the line, check into it or work out an agreement on the fence location with your neighbor.
  • Also, check any local ordinances applying to fences before beginning construction. Call the building department of your local city hall or ask for the local government office that regulates construction to be sure you abide by city codes.
  • Try to keep the bottom rail of any fence at least 2” above the ground. This helps eliminate the problem of decay and makes it easier to trim grass around the base of the fence.
  • Four basic styles of easy-to-build fence. Each style has the same basic top, center and bottom rail construction. However, the fences look entirely different with the various rail treatments.
  • Study the designs carefully. Decide which of these styles you prefer, or use a little imagination and create your own fencing design to apply to the basic rail fencing structure.
  • Picket fences are very popular and easy to build. With a little ingenuity you can create attractive picket designs. Study the designs. Use the designs shown or your own designs to create a distinctive picket fence.
  • Make sure that all the pickets are spaced by inserting a loose picket between the picket previously nailed into position and the picket to be nailed. Use this easy method throughout the entire fencing construction.
  • A basket weave fence is often used on a sloping terrain. This style of fence allows you to raise or lower each post.
  • Use a good-quality board to build a basket weave fence. Boards full of knots may break easily when placed under the stress of basket weaving.
  • A simple board fence is easy to build and can be quite attractive. You can place the boards on one side or alternate them from side to side.
  • The board fence provides both a barrier and privacy. It can be built as tall as needed and then stained, painted or left natural.
  • You can design a siding fence to match the siding on your home of this style. In fact, you can use the same siding that was used on the home to build the fence.
  • The siding fence can be covered on one side or both. Then, you can paint it to match or harmonize with the paint on your home.
  • These are only a few of the many styles of fencing available. Fences are easy to build, and the materials are readily available.

TOOL AND MATERIAL CHECKLIST

  • Boards & Posts
  • Post Hole Digger
  • Steel Tape
  • Small Axe or Hatchet
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Wood Chisel
  • Wood Preservative
  • Power Saw
  • Paint or Outdoor Stain
  • Marking Pencil
  • Gravel or Sand
  • Hand Saw
  • Work Gloves
  • Ready-Mix Concrete
  • Tamping Rod
Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm  Leave a Comment